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Not Another AAR?! Tux Vs. JoMc67


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Here we go folks – yet another opportunity for you to follow along as I lose horribly and humiliatingly in public. Meh.

The fight is versus JoMc67, as he is known on these boards, and uses my CM:ETO installation. :)


The map is a slightly modified version of ‘Grand Boulevard ME’, which comes with the game.


It is July 1944. The house rules mostly pertain to cover arcs,etc., but the most important ones are that we are allowed 50% max. of our 1000 points to spend on armour/ vehicles, and Jo must field two ‘lesser’ Panzers for every Cat he wishes to bring. I like that second one, lol.

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Anyway, my force selection reflects my desire to surprise Joe a little, and to have a good amount of mobile, cheap HE to chuck about. I therefore chose the Brits. :)

3 x regular Recon. Assault Platoons

2 x regular Vickers HMG

1 x veteran Sharpshooter (sorry Joe, I forgot I’d bought this unit as veteran until after the start.)

1 x regular Flamethrower Team

1 x regular 25-lber

1 x regular Staghound III (the one with the Crusader turret)

1 x regular Wolverine

2 x regular Sherman III (mid)

My Wolverine hunts cats (should Joe manage to afford any) and 80mm+ armour. My two Shermen lob high explosive and dominate roads, etc. My Staghound zips about at 40mph+, attempts flank shots at SPGs or Cats, engages light armour and generally makes a nuisance of itself.

My Flamethrower allows me one good, hard surprise for Jo’s infantry if I can use it properly. The 25-lber will dominate a road junction and deal death and destruction to absolutely anything without 90mm+ of armour, and will be supported by an HMG. The other HMG will guard a small flag which is already in my territory and the three platoons of infantry, each with a PIAT in support, will assault the other two, one of which is basically Joe’s and the other of which is up for grabs.

One thing that will make this AAR different from my previous ones is that it will, in actual fact, be a genuine AAR. Jo is a regular visitor here, and so has requested that I post the report after the battle. I will therefore be posting an average of one turn per day, depending on any points of conversation that arise. Joe is welcome to comment as we progress through the battle, but I will ask him to avoid giving anything away with regards to turn which have yet to be posted. That way things should be kept interesting for the reader. ;)

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My plans during First Orders are to send one platoon of infantry, which I shall refer to as Platoon C, quickly across the road into some buildings near the enemy flag. They’ll setup there and wait until I can organise myself to mount an assault on the flag itself later on. They’ll take their organic PIAT and the flamethrower with them.

My Stag is going to race across the main boulevard well out on my right flank and then sit and wait for a while on Jo’s side. It will stop any of his infantry from trying to outflank my units and will be available to speed into action again as and when I choose. Hopefully it will remain a secret from Jo until I order it into action later in the game. I chose the “Staghound III” from the Vehicles menu instead of the “AEC III Armoured Car” from the Armour menu. The two are essentially identical, except the AEC has a maximum of 65mm of armour compared to the Staghound’s 51mm. I can’t imagine Joe having anything that can penetrate 51mm at street-fighting ranges but not 65mm, and so I have gone for the lighter Staghound which is 14mph quicker and therefore more suited to the purpose which I intend it for.

My other two infantry platoons are going to move casually into defensive positions on my side of the Boulevard so as to make any attempted infantry crossings by Jo extremely difficult. Platoon A will be on my far left flank occupying the ‘up-for-grabs’ flag, and Platoon B will face Jo’s central flag from across the road.

The Wolverine and a single Sherman will move up together to cover the length of the Main Boulevard and should be sufficient to kill anything that tries to cross.

I’m going to send my second Sherman through my side of town towards my left flank, to fulfil a similar task to my Stag and to support Platoon A.

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Turn 1

Both of our units rush into action. Seconds into the turn a host of Jo’s units, including what appears to be a StuG, fly across the gap covered by my MG and 25-lber too fast for my guns to engage them! Bugger…


The platoon which I had assigned to race across the main road make it there unharmed, and spot a pair of Jo’s armoured cars driving balls out in the opposite direction 100yds away on my left flank. One of the cars proceeds too far, perhaps hoping for a glimpse at my rearmost units, but meets my covering Sherman instead. The results are predictable:


In the orders for the next turn I’m going to push this Sherman slightly further forwards still, in an effort to kill Jo’s second AC.

My various infantry Platoons are going to move up to occupy the buildings highlighted in red, orange and pink below (indicative of Platoons A, B and C respectively). The blue and white arrows show the important LOS ranges covered by my AFVs and gun at present.



The blue arrows, in particular, show the powerful position that my Wolverine and supporting Sherman occupy. At present they should be able to prevent Jo from using the main boulevard at all. Even if he has a Cat in support it would be risky to face off the Wolverine at such short range.

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Thanks Heinrich - I'm glad people enjoy reading them.

Turn 2

The second AC dies quickly, to my deep contentment, although it’s a tight shot in the end! Judging by how quickly the two cars moved across the boulevard in the first minute I would guess that they are unsupported, and so this is one whole Task Force of Jo’s which I have wiped out.


Elsewhere not much happens, except that most of Jo’s units are seen in full reverse, racing back across the road I have ‘covered’ by my 25-lber and HMG, again too fast to be engaged. In the next couple of turns I am going to look to reposition these support units to a more useful location.

My orders for Turn 3 centre around organising the infantry that I have crossed the Boulevard with to occupy the three buildings circled at A. I am going to mount one HMG (the one on next to my Wolverine-Sherman combo) onto the nearby Sherman and run it across the boulevard to enter the building at B from the rear. It should then be able to help my advance by covering the whole of the road ahead of it.


Since I have decided that Jo’s Armoured Cars were unsupported, I’m going to reverse the Sherman that killed them to help move the HMG component of the gun-machine gun pair who have been so useless so far. It should be a few minutes before any of Jo’s forces get close enough to my left flank for me to miss the tank, by which time I can have it back there if I choose.

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Thanks for the words of encouragement, guys. I enjoy writing the things so I don't mind too much. Anyone should feel free to comment on my tactics or strategy though - that would make for a more interesting thread, I'd have thought. I'd also very much welcome any constructive criticism people can offer; no matter how harsh it may seem. ;)

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Your force mix seems to partake of Jock columns, Russian streetfighting and several other things I have yet to identify. Personally, I'm unaware of 25 pdrs being used this way, but it seems to be working great for you. Suggest, though, you don't tell Ian Hogg! Looks like the initial setup placed the opposing forces in very close proximity. Bring any mouseholing charges?


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Lol, unfortunately not. Annoying, that!

What is a Jock Column? Which is the 'Russian streetfighting' component? The flamethrower? I don't know a huge amount about historical doctrine and tactics, so I'd be interested to learn more.

We'll see how useful the 25-lber proves. At the moment it looks like it's not going to do much unless something stops within LOS long enough to get shot at! I don't have a prime mover either, so it's 20m hops taking two minutes or nothing!

The setup zones are interesting, yes. Changing them to, for example, opposite ends of the map may make for a very different game. I, for one, would have been tempted to mount at least a platoon of infantry on halftracks in that case...

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A Jock column is a Western Desert British/CW ad hoc integrated mobile fighting force, albeit yours is a microcosm of the much bigger real deal. You can read about real ones in the CMAK Guide.



"John "Jock" Campbell


NZ use of Jock columns


The Russian streetfighting component is the 25 pdr. The Russians were famous for using field artillery in cities for heavy direct fire in support of the troops, the rule of thumb being one gun in DF was worth 10 firing indirectly. They used artillery clear up through the huge B4 203mm howitzer in the Battle of Berlin. Check YouTube for footage

or search this forum. I found a whole BoB documentary online. I pushed very hard for the inclusion of the 122 and 152mm howitzers at a minimum so that we could properly simulate this important aspect of late war tactics. Instead, we got ATGs through 100mm and no field piece bigger than a ZIS-3. Compare OOB for Moltke's Bridge with the BoB footage, and you'll see how glaring the gap is.


John Kettler

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Interesting, thanks. I agree that towed 122mm and 152mm artillery would be nice in CMBB. I always get a little frustrated when I find myself needing to buy SUs and ISUs all the time, when German players can easily snatch a 105 or 150 from their support menu...

Turn 3

Practically nothing happens. It seems both of us are busy reshuffling our units based on first contact.

Orders for Turn 4 are simply to continue with my HMG relocation projects.

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Turn 4

A Squad in Platoon A catches the sharp end of the game’s first small-arms exchange as it is moving across a patch of open ground towards forward cover. In the end they end up losing three men to enemy fire.


As my Sherman is ferrying an HMG over the road to support Platoon C it spots a distant flanking manoeuvre being undertaken by a force of German infantry. It sprays an healthy dose of .50 cal fire at them before losing LOS.


It seems that Jo is aiming a right hook at me even as I do likewise to him. At this rate we’re going to end up facing each other square on with the Boulevard bisecting each of our forces neatly down the middle. Should be interesting!

By the end of the minute the situation is as shown:


Here we have Platoons A, B and C marked on the map, with Jo’s flanking units at D. At E are my 25-lber and my Sherman-mounted HMG. In Turn 5 I am going to have the Sherman move along the blue arrow to the corner of the street, where my MG will dismount and setup on the top floor of the corner building. The Sherman will also lay smoke at the corner of the road, and after a minute or so the 25-lber will use the cover afforded by this to move forwards ~20m along the smaller blue arrow shown.

F is the corner on which is sat my Wolverine. You can also see a Lost Contact Marker highlighted for the purposes of the screenshot. This is where Jo’s SPG was last seen, reversing ‘up’ the map into what I assume is an ambush position. I plan to drive my Wolverine fast along the blue arrow to a point from which I am hoping to achieve a sneaky flank shot on the StuG. It will also give me the option, if I deem it important enough, to push my Wolverine even further down the Boulevard to interdict Jo’s flanking attempt, but I would far rather use a Sherman for that.

At G the second HMG is due to dismount and enter the building ahead of him. Once that’s done I can scoot my Sherman around to add yet more weight to my assault towards Jo’s flag. The Staghound at H may also join in and help out by doubling the number of 75mm guns I have hitting Jo’s infantry.

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That's true, although I wanted to make it as quick an attack as possible to minimise the time Jo had to react. I thought the longer rat-run route, combined with the increased command delay, would have taken too long. It would also all have been time spent without a 76mm gun monitoring the Boulevard.

@ Heinrich, I'm hoping the target StuG won't have time to turn and face the spot from which my Wolverine will attempt a shot. It's in a patch of scattered trees, so, unless Jo has read my mind already and ordered the gun manually to face-up, I should be safe.

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Turn 5

Very little occurs this turn. The only event of note is a sound contact and an SPG spotted reversing into the positions indicated by the red arrows below.


The upper arrow, of course, I already knew about and have my Wolverine metres away from attempting a flank shot. The sound contact may be a lot harder to deal with. At the moment I am carefully nursing an idea based loosely upon racing my Staghound into that little plaza at 40mph and turning tightly to stop a few metres from the unit’s flank. Hopefully, given time, this idea will grow into something other than a spectacular way to kill my Stag crew. I may wait until I know more about what sort of unit the ‘target’ is; its behaviour and positioning suggest an SPG, but if it turned out to have a fast turret my Staghound’s predicament could quickly turn rather fruity.

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Turn 6

We have significant activity ahead of my assault platoon, C. My Vickers machine gun takes incoming small arms fire while it sets up, but without significant effect.


The Sherman which carried my HMG team over the Boulevard returns to the ‘friendly’ side of the road, and sets up to cover Platoon C in their assault. In so doing it catches sight, once again, of Jo’s flanking force and forces them to hit the dirt with several bursts of .50 cal.


Unfortunately, my Wolverine’s attempt to gain a flank shot at an enemy AFV comes to naught; it arrives in position but cannot see anything to fire at. Some nearby SMG-fire forces the commander to button. I am going to reverse this unit back to the street corner near Platoon C next turn. I would like to keep it alive, and so I am going to keep it moving until it is back in a relatively safe position.

Here’s another map so that you can all properly imagine what’s happening:


Circled in pink are all of the assets which I have assigned to support Platoon C’s effort and which I have used to isolate the block of houses which I wish C to occupy. As you can see, the right of the block is covered by an HMG, the ‘top’ is covered by a second HMG, the left is covered by a Sherman and the interior of the block is covered by one of Platoon C’s squads. The small arrows show the planned method of advance for Platoon C, which will protect them from the right-hand buildings which Jo may have occupied in the first minute.

A large arrow extending from my Staghound’s position in the lower right of the screenshot describes the possible line of advance I could order the car to follow. From its destination it could then cover the ‘top’ of the block of houses from the right, submitting any infantry attempting to cross to a lethal crossfire. It would also be relatively safe from close assault unless the nearest building is already occupied by Jo’s men. I haven’t given this order yet though – I’m still hoping that Jo is unaware of my AC’s existence, and I’m waiting to see if I get a chance to use it on the flank of a StuG at some point.

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That's my plan - I need more intel before I move.

Turn 7

Another flood of Feldgrau scampers across the road ahead of my fully prepared HMG. It seems that advancing infantry are quite quick, however, and my Vickers has remarkable difficulty from stopping any of them from repositioning:


No matter, none of them can interfere with my advancing platoon, the assault proper continues unhindered.

My units covering the ‘top’ of the relevant housing block have more success. Two squads are caught attempting to reinforce the block, and are (I hope) horribly cut up by my HMG and my sniper, which decided to join in:


Elsewhere, as Platoon A moves to cover my left flank against Jo’s distant attack, the crew of one of Jo’s armoured cars pops up in a suspicious top-floor position. He aims at my nearest squad and misses, but catches another nearby squad, causing one casualty. Little Sod! I’ll take great pleasure in annihilating him next turn.


The last thing worthy of note is the withdrawal of my Wolverine. It gets halfway back and, on the way, adds a few more smoke shells to the screen laid by my Sherman to cover the movement of my 25-lber. That should allow the gun to finish moving before the smoke finally lifts.

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Turn 8

My Wolverine finishes reversing into position and, once there, it engages Jo’s distant flanking infantry with MG and with 76mm HE. I have two of Jo’s ‘Infantry?’ units highlighted when two 76mm shells explode nearby. As each shell explodes the highlighted unit ‘leaps’ a few metres, I lose the selection, and the info at the bottom switches to ‘Knocked Out’. Methinks these were a couple of mortars which have been knocked out by my Wolverine and replaced with two panicked ‘Crew’ units.


Further back, at Platoon A’s position, the German armoured car’s crew are quickly and efficiently put to rest. That’s one less scouting unit for Jo. At the same time the nearby AC wrecks are identified as an SPW 222 ‘light’ and an SPW 233 ‘heavy’. I am glad the latter is out of the game. It could potentially have caused quite a headache.

Just behind, the rearmost elements of Platoon A are crossing the road to join their point units. As they saunter across the road a broad scouse accent exclaims loudly and a man points across the Boulevard to German-held territory. There, carefully concealed amongst some scattered trees, is an assault gun, its barrel pointing directly towards the British infantry.


As the men scamper for cover at their next waypoint, it becomes clear that the SPG has been given an order to target armour, and only armour – it doesn’t open fire on my men. Jo must have positioned it there to try and cut off the Sherman I have supporting Platoon A. In any case it poses no immediate threat now that my infantry have safely crossed its LOS, and I am glad to have positively located it.

Further back still, at the core of my territory, the 25-lber has reached its destination and will now require 2 minutes to set up.


That suits me fine – it should be ready just in time to support Platoon C’s assault on the final row of buildings, nearest the German flag. It’s then that I expect things to get really hot, and a few heavy HE shells in support of my men’s efforts certainly won’t go amiss!

Platoon C are happily bringing up the rear of my forces’ activity, and have moved to within two buildings of the flag without loss.


Having said that, the squad covering the interior area of the housing block has been engaged by two squads in the building opposite. I am happy for this to continue. If I keep my advancing units on the Boulevard side of the heavy buildings they enter, as I fully intend to do, these German units will be unable to engage them. The covering squad is also preventing the German units from moving across the interior Plaza to attack the buildings held by my advancing infantry.

The following screenshot provides an overview of the position of Platoon C and that of two assault guns which made themselves known this turn.


The vehicle at A is that spotted by Fairfield’s Finest in Platoon A, and it doesn’t move during the turn. The SPG at B is observed following the arrow shown until it disappears where the arrow terminates. Both of these SPGs are potential targets for a hit-and-run raid by my Staghound in the next few turns, depending where they finish up and whether I think Jo will have bothered providing infantry support to vehicles so deep inside his own territory.

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Turn 9

The minute progresses relatively quietly. By the end of the next minute I hope to have Platoon A comfortably garrisoned in the buildings highlighted red below:


I have neglected the building on the corner of the Boulevard because it is useless to Jo. He cannot get out of it and into either of the adjacent buildings without moving out into the road first. I am therefore contenting myself with waiting to cut him down in the roads around the buildings themselves.

The SPG spotted moving last turn proceeds to slip between two buildings and looks to be turning to join its companion facing towards the rear of Platoon C when contact is lost. I am running a PIAT team over the road at the rear of C to a position from which he can watch the SPGs and, hopefully, gain a full ID. I also have something a little more dangerous in mind however:


Whether this movement order ends up being more lethal to me or to Jo’s SPGs remains to be seen, and depends heavily on how much AT-capable infantry he has withheld deep to his rear. The idea is that, after 47 seconds of Turn 10, my Stag begins moving. On 60 seconds I want it to be moving at top speed, but yet to break into LOS of any of Jo’s units’ possible positions. The ‘Hound should then be able to gain LOS to the SPGs’ positions early in Turn 11, giving it the maximum possible time to wreak havoc on their flank armour before Jo can give any counter-action orders.

The point unit of Platoon C is making good progress towards the German flag, having reached the penultimate building without incident:


The only exchange of fire during this minute is that between my covering squad and the two German squads opposite. Unfortunately my men do take a single casualty after 40 seconds or so, but they’re holding up well. The screenshot below shows my plans to Area Fire at appropriate buildings before my infantry enter the final building early in Turn 11, using delayed orders which I have already given.


My nearby Sherman and Wolverine are both giving the final building a minute’s worth of HE treatment before moving closer to gain proper LOS to any potential occupants later in the minute. By so doing they will become significantly more vulnerable to any Panzerschreck units Jo may have nearby, and so after 30 seconds’ more setting-up time my 25-lber is going to hurl heavy shells at the opposite corner building, and Platoon B are going to pepper the building behind that from top to bottom in an attempt to suppress any infantry units inside.

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Turn 10

Turn 10 goes well enough. Platoon C’s advance has been perfectly timed and two assaulting squads are on the point of breaking into LOS of the final building when the minute ends. They are so close together you can barely distinguish between the two icons!


A single infantry-type unit of Jo’s advances across the ‘top’ road into the useless building on the inside corner of Platoon C’s housing block. It takes at least one fair burst from my covering Vickers but doesn’t stop. I find myself yearning for an MG 42…

The Staghound’s movement is also perfectly timed, and it is still skulking in the back streets when the minute ends. Unfortunately, Jo’s SPGs haven’t been idle. The two of them race across the road covered by my second HMG. For a moment I am terrified that they are going to rush right across the Boulevard while my Wolverine and Sherman are busy on Area Fire, and catch the Sherman I have covering Platoon A unawares! Thankfully they don’t and instead line up covering the road to the rear of Platoon A again.


My ‘scouting’ PIAT makes it halfway across the road being covered by the SPGs when he is forced to a crawl by nearby HMG fire.


I am guessing the offending MG is in one of the buildings opposite. Three long bursts fail to cause a casualty to my PIAT team, so perhaps it is an LMG 42 masquerading as a heavy?

The following screenshot shows that I have taken my two AFVs on the Boulevard off Area Fire, and allowed them to pick their targets (the Wolverine in particular covering any possible emergence of Jo’s two SPGs). The Sherman is nearly in position to fire directly into the final building in Platoon C’s advance, if necessary.


The screenshot also shows the new order I have given to my Staghound. The command delay is only 12 seconds, and so I am hoping he will make it to the end of the final leg in time to take a couple of nice, destructive shots at the rear of Jo’s SPG pair. I only hope they don’t bugger off again this time…

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Turn 11

Platoon C have reached their objective without encountering the slightest resistance. How odd… They are now comfortably holed up in the building joint-nearest the flag, so I now hold two flags and contend (at least) the third. Come on, Joe!


Unfortunately, my judgement with regards to the Staghound’s speed was less than perfect. By the end of the minute it has only reached this point:


It also, worryingly, encountered German infantry in the early stages of its rush.


Thankfully, the landser were as surprised as I was and failed to get off a Panzerfaust at my armoured car, but they have me worried. I have now to decide whether they are a screening unit or an element of a flanking force which Joe may be trying to push around my far right. If the latter then there is now nothing between them and their objective!

In my orders for Turn 12 I, after much cogitating, allow my Stag to continue its assault on the two SPGs. It is risky, because they may well have time to turn and face it before it arrives, should Joe have accurately guessed my car’s intentions. In order to do so however, they will have to expose their rear to the Sherman which I have supporting Platoon A, should said Sherman reverse out into LOS. It’s not going to, of course, but Joe doesn’t know that and so I’m hoping to face one-on-one odds at most when I get to a position from which I can shoot at the two SPGs.

The Staghound is then, when it has either killed the two SPGs or died in the attempt, going to race back to its starting position and attempt to interdict any potential flanking movements thereabouts. With the same objective in mind I am repositioning the HMG at the rear of Platoon C to the building immediately to its right, from where it has LOS to the infantry position which my ‘Hound uncovered as well as down the main road which it is currently covering. I am also sneaking a PIAT into LOS from the housing block occupied by Platoon C.

Finally, I am rushing the Sherman from the main Boulevard across to the rear of Platoon C in a further attempt to seal up that flank and prevent any of Joe’s infantry from seeping through.

I am worryingly vulnerable for the next couple of minutes. If the infantry discovered by the Stag really are elements of a flanking force then I could well find myself woefully short of forces to prevent them from pouring through and assaulting my rearmost flag. If only I had left that bloody Staghound well alone in the first place I would be in no such predicament! Ah well, 20:20 hindsight and all that…

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